Thursday, August 04, 2011

The Little Particulars of the Circumstance--where Persuasion meets It Happened One Night

A few months ago I acquired an iPad. I was dismayed that the whole ebook phenomena was passing me by. I had tried to jump on the bandwagon with my iPhone, but I just couldn't read anything substantial on that small a screen. Despite having downloaded a fair number of free classics from Amazon for the Kindle app, I still hadn't read anything of more than a page or two on my iPad as of last weekend.

Then, Susan Kaye, one of my favorite Austen-inspired authors, posted about a short work she had published on Smashwords. Since I didn't know anything about Smashwords, I ventured forth, bought her Persuasion-inspired story, The Little Particulars of the Circumstance, and read it in Breckenridge this past Monday afternoon.

The experience and the story were both terrific.

I found reading on the Kindle app on the iPad to feel very much like reading a book in weight, size, and appearance. The story was only $1.99--much less than a non-fat tall Chai at Starbucks (which is my "one" weakness) and well worth it.

The Little Particulars of the Circumstance is a what-if Persuasion story. Essentially, what if Captain Wentworth and Anne Elliot were confined together for a twenty-four period, away from the intrusions and attentions of the various Musgroves, Eliots, and Crofts and left to sort out their past together.

The story picks up from the scene in Persuasion where Captain Wentworth calls in at Uppercross Cottage and instead of having an awkward moment with Anne is part of a lock-down that the local doctor imposes when he suspects young Charles of having small pox.

I absolutely loved the chemistry between Wentworth and Anne as portrayed by Kaye, and she does her usual masterful job in creating incredibly poignant scenes without going over the top with pathos. Her characters always remain true to the parameters laid out by Austen, and her variations on a theme are what make reading Austen-inspired stories so pleasureable. I particularly like the tightness of the story--one twenty-four hour period and one location, and lots of dialogue and internal processing. Everything I like in a story!

I think I could get addicted to these Smashwords.

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